Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/202

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of this grand universe of which we form a part, nobler views of the manner in which it has been developed in past times to its present state, nobler views of the laws by which it is now maintained, nobler expectations as to its future. We stand in presence of the unshackled, as to Force; of the immeasurable, as to Space; of the unlimited, as to Time. Above all, our conceptions of the unchangeable purposes, the awful majesty of the Supreme Being, become more vivid. We realize what is meant when it is said, "With Him there is no variableness, no shadow of turning." Need I say anything more in commending the doctrine of evolution to you?

Let us bear in mind the warning of history. The heaviest blow the Holy Scriptures have ever received was inflicted by no infidel, but by ecclesiastical authority itself. When the works of Copernicus and of Kepler were put in the Index of prohibited books, the system of the former was declared, by what called itself the Christian Church, to be "that false Pythagorean system, utterly contrary to the Holy Scriptures." But the truth of the Copernican system is now established.

There are persons who declare of the hypothesis of evolution, as was formerly declared of the hypothesis of Copernicus, "It is utterly contrary to the Holy Scriptures." It is for you to examine whether this be so, and, if so, to find a means of reconciliation. Let us not be led astray by the clamors of those who, not seeking the truth and not caring about it, are only championing their sect r or attempting the perpetuation of their own profits.

My friends, let me plead with you. Don't reject the theory of evolution. There is no thought of modern times that more magnifies the unutterable glory of Almighty God! Remember, I beseech you, what was said by one of old times: "Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do. And now I say unto you, if this counsel be of men it will come to naught; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest haply ye be found to be fighting against God"—shall I continue the quotation?—"and to him they all agreed!"

We often hear it affirmed that our are is becoming more and more irreligious, and that men wantonly reject sacred things of which their ancestors approved. But I think we may profitably inquire whether very much of this is not due to the profound changes that are taking place in our conceptions of the Supreme Being? Things and acts which at one time men attributed to him without hesitation, they can attribute to him no more. They have learned to demand of every dogma, "Is it derogatory to the awful majesty of God?"

These modifications of opinion have had no little to do with the progress of the subject we have been considering. Let us ever bear in mind that the doctrine of evolution has for its foundation not the admisssion of incessant divine interventions, but a recognition of the